Elections

On The Media

Poll Crazy

Friday, October 22, 2004

The conflicting methodologies of the various pollsters, from ABC to Zogby, have resulted in election forecasts that are all over the map. But the media are unswayed by the lack of certainty, and continue to shower us with more polls. Philip J. Trounstine, director of the Survey and Policy Research ...

Comment

On The Media

Local News, Local Democracy

Friday, October 15, 2004

Several reliable polls suggest that for most Americans, local TV newscasts are a prime source of information about local government. But a recent study found that in the weeks leading up to the 2002 elections, about half of the local newscasts in the top 50 markets didn't air a single ...

Comment

On The Media

How Did They Do?

Friday, October 01, 2004

If all the campaign’s a stage, then all the candidates are merely players. But so are the journalists mediating the political race, as are the voters watching at home. The Atlantic Monthly’s James Fallows returns to OTM to parse the performances of the various characters in Act III, Scene 1 ...

Comment

On The Media

Many Layers of Spin

Friday, October 01, 2004

Bush and Kerry spent most of the week preparing for their first big showdown, leaving the campaign press with little to do but spin their wheels in anticipation. “Spin” being the operative word. The net effect of a week’s worth of prognosticating pundits and campaign talking points was an overall ...

Comment

On The Media

Kerry Takes No Questions

Friday, September 17, 2004

The media have long complained about President Bush's scarceness with the press. After all, he's held fewer solo press conferences than any of his predecessors in 50 years. By way of contrast, a President Kerry would grant one press conference per month - or so he has promised. But candidate ...

Comment

On The Media

Mano a Mano

Friday, September 10, 2004

Thus far, the presidential campaign has been dominated by candidates sniping at each other from remote locations. But the luxury of monopolizing the podium won't last forever. And when the debates start up at the end of this month, the sparks are sure to fly. At least that's the view ...

Comment

On The Media

Balance & Lies

Friday, August 27, 2004

When the leading newspapers finally joined the Swift Boat fray this week, they helped to expose the ads as unsubstantiated smears against Senator Kerry's reputation. But the ad campaign itself has also exposed a fundamental weakness in our contemporary press culture. The American Prospect's executive editor Michael Tomasky tells Brooke ...

Comment

On The Media

Marginal Understanding

Friday, August 27, 2004

It's campaign season, which means that we are inundated every day with new results from public opinion polling of "likely voters." But rarely do these reports include information about the polls' margin of error. And even when they do, it's often obvious that the reporter doesn't understand what the margin ...

Comment

On The Media

Ralph 'n Rupert

Friday, July 16, 2004

Presidential candidate and anti-corporate crusader Ralph Nader's new book hit stores this month, courtesy of publishing house HarperCollins. The irony is that HarperCollins is owned by Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul who does not hesitate to use his media organs to promote Republican causes. Is HarperCollins admirably backing books that ...

Comment

On The Media

Throwing the Pick

Friday, July 09, 2004

The metaphor of the week was "last piece in the puzzle." The piece in question was Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, newly anointed contender for vice president. And "the pick" was the news that kept on giving. From Tuesday morning, when Senator Kerry made his choice known, through this ...

Comment

On The Media

Letters

Friday, July 02, 2004

Listeners weigh in on our coverage of voter disenfranchisement in Florida, as well as our handling of the 9/11 Commission's recent reports.

Comment

On The Media

In Visible Offense

Friday, June 25, 2004

With his poll numbers slipping even on issues previously dominated by Republicans, and critical media coverage of his administration higher-ups making headlines every day, the president and inner circle have been visibly dodging and deflecting for several weeks now. But where is John Kerry? Is the Democratic challenger intentionally lying ...

Comment

On The Media

Subcontinentally Wrong

Friday, May 21, 2004

Much was made over the extent to which media prognosticators got it wrong in the lead-up to the early Democratic presidential primaries. But this isn't the only democracy in which pundits are often contradicted by actual events. Take India, for example, where the Sonia Gandhi's Congress Party recently defied most ...

Comment

On The Media

Mud-Slinging Professional Style

Friday, May 14, 2004

After interviewing more than a thousand adults in the 18 battleground states that have been running campaign commercials since March, the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey found that 61 percent believe that President Bush favors sending jobs overseas, and that John Kerry voted for higher taxes 350 times, ...

Comment

On The Media

Premie Punditry

Friday, May 07, 2004

Is the mainstream media prematurely writing off the chances of John Kerry for President? Salon writer Tim Grieve thinks so. As he tells Bob, recent coverage of Kerry is strikingly similar to the coverage that Bill Clinton received in 1992. And like his Democratic predecessor, Grieve says, Kerry still has ...

Comment

On The Media

The Wizard of Lizard

Friday, May 07, 2004

Is selling a presidential candidate to the electorate the same as selling a car to consumers? Maybe not, but according to one marketing consultant, in both cases Americans are going to be buying for the same basic reasons. Clotaire Rapaille has helped dozens of Fortune 500 companies market their wares ...

Comment

On The Media

Indy Campaigning

Friday, March 12, 2004

Days after the Bush re-election campaign released its first round of TV ads, three anti-Bush ad campaigns hit the airwaves in 17 battleground states. Democratic challenger John Kerry's advisers are welcoming the ads, but are not involved with their production. And according to Bush-backers, that makes the ads illegal. Brooke ...

Comment

On The Media

Nice Package

Friday, March 05, 2004

The bunting from Super Tuesday was hardly torn down when the President unleashed his first round of re-election ads this week. Critics are already lashing out at the Bush-Cheney campaign for exploiting 9/11 imagery, but at least one advertising critic thinks the spots are surprisingly tasteful, and restrained. Just so ...

Comment

On The Media

The Two Johns

Friday, February 27, 2004

When it comes to policy platforms, the two frontrunners for the Democratic presidential nomination are more similar to each other than they are to any other candidate. But when it comes to style, the gulf between the two Johns opens wide. Voters are still deciding whether to buy into the ...

Comment

On The Media

Where's the Beef?

Friday, February 20, 2004

It has become almost trite to observe that TV coverage of election campaigns obsesses on the horserace, to the exclusion of the underlying issues. But a new study by mediachannel.org quantifies the substance gap. MediaChannel concluded that in January, the big three news networks devoted less than 5% of their ...

Comment